Honduras: Military targets LGBTI activists

A military coup, backed by the United States, ousted a democratically elected government in Honduras on June 28, 2009. It has arrested, without trial, thousands of democracy activists.

More than 50 activists from the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) have been killed, and there are more than 100 other violent deaths related to the coup and curfews.

The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trangender and intersex (LGBTI) community is being particularly targeted.

The latest victim from the LGBTI community was a 20-year-old trangendered sex worker and human rights educator, murdered on March 25. A 4-wheel drive came by when she was with a group of friends. She went up to the car to talk, but turned around mid-conversation.

She was shot in the back, as she was walking back to her friends.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) noted in a press release in December: “Since the ouster of the country’s democratically elected government, a climate of impunity has enabled systematic acts of transphobic and homophobic violence.

“Nobody has been brought to justice for any of these crimes, many of which were committed publicly. More deaths of LGBTI people have likely gone unreported.”

The IGLHRC said Walter Trochez, a 27-year-old Honduran gay rights activist and FNRP member, was shot in a drive-by attack by unknown assailants on December 13.

Another LGBTI activist and FNRP member, 22-year-old Renan Fajardo Argueta, was found murdered in his home on December 23. Before he was killed, he received threatening text messages and stayed home in fear, refusing to go out to meet friends.

An International Day of Action Against Homophobia will take place on May 15. In Sydney, Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) is holding a rally to condemn homophobia in Australia — and demand same-sex marriage.

CAAH will also demand justice for the LGBTI community internationally — including the crimes of the military regime in Honduras.

The rally, taking place at Town Hall at 1pm, will feature pictures of Trochez and Fajardo Argueta, as well petitions to sign. To find out more, visit . To help out for May 15 action, email .

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